A team of health officials left here for Guwahati on Sunday to oversee the airlifting of life-saving and other essential drugs to Manipur. These drugs cannot be brought here by road owing to the economic blockade imposed by two Naga tribal students' organisations from April 16 on the two key highways. The blockade is in protest against the holding of autonomous district council elections and Manipur's refusal to allow NSCN (I-M) leader Thuingaleng Muivah to visit the State.

Routine operations were halted in the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences here from May 10 due to non-availability of medical gas and life-saving drugs. The Manipur government hospital, J.N. Hospital, was also not performing surgeries.

The Union Home Ministry had informed Manipur that two military planes were available for transporting life-saving drugs and other essential hospital items from Guwahati. A high-level meeting was held on Saturday. It was decided that an official team will stay in Guwahati to supervise the airlifting process. In another development, the Manipur government has decided to bring essential commodities from Silchar in Assam via Mizoram through the inter-State highway 150, covering a distance of over 700 km. A team of Ministers and MLAs visited the highway to assess the road condition. It has informed the State government that the road is in a bad condition and not suitable for transporting commodities in a big way.

Meanwhile, the Naga Students' Federation has warned drivers of Manipur not to ply in the “Naga areas.”

In a statement, it said the total ban on Manipur vehicles imposed on May 4 was still effective.